Guest Blog: King Tut’s Final Secrets Story Board

BrainPOP Educator, Amanda Durrence, is an Instructional Technologist in Winston Salem, NC. She is certified in 6-9 Social Studies and was a 7th grade social studies teacher when she shared this lesson idea with us. She has used BrainPOP for the past 5 years in her teaching career and notes, “I’ve been in love with it since day one.”

BrainPOP’s Egyptian Pharaohs and Mummies movies inspired me to take my lesson on Ancient Egypt a few steps further with my students.  I came across an interesting documentary by National Geographic titled “King Tut’s Final Secrets.” It tied in perfectly with what we were learning. BrainPOP’s resources provided us with excellent resources to help students understand Ancient Egyptian culture/customs.  Furthermore, they were prepped for the documentary by BrainPOP’s explanation of the mummification process and why it was significant for the pharaohs.

As students watched the documentary, they learned about the three theories scientists developed regarding the cause of King Tut’s death.  The documentary did an excellent job of keeping my students in suspense and made them eager to find out the truth.  Class discussions led students to examine the facts and determine which of these theories were most likely true.  In the end, scientists uncovered the cause of death by conducting a CT scan of King Tut’s 3,000 year old mummy.  The students were amazed when the scientists were able to determine his cause of death thousands of years later!  It was very rewarding to see their reactions.  I could see the “ah ha!” expression on their faces as the mystery surrounding King Tut’s death was revealed.  Something had clicked!

Given the abundance of questions and discussions that were taking place, I decided to try something new.  I came across the storyboard graphic organizer on BrainPOP Educators.  Using the storyboard, I had my students create a comic strip.  Together we reviewed examples of different comic strips (BrainPOP has tons in the FYI Section) and generated a list of ideas that answered one simple question, “What makes a great comic strip?”  Using the criteria my classes generated, students designed a comic strip to illustrate the information that interested them most from the documentary.  Some students decided to illustrate the three theories surrounding King Tut’s death while others focused on different areas.  It was great to see what each student learned from the lesson and how they chose to express it.  After looking over their storyboards, it was evident they had a much deeper understanding of the content/vocabulary we studied and discussed in class.  The lesson was a big success!

Amanda Durrence
Instructional Technologist
Winston Salem, NC

How did you teach your students about Ancient Civilizations? Share ideas, tips, and comments below.